Africa’s Largest Tech Incubator Invests $700K In 7 African Startups

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator, has invested $700,000 in seven African startups that formed part of its 10th cohort.

Based in Ghana, the incubator has invested $100,000 in each of the seven tech startups, which have been selected from across Africa, according to Techmoran.

The startups chosen for the program came from a 2018 cohort of 17 businesses from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe, making this the incubator’s largest and most pan-African cohort to date.

The incubator has links throughout Africa, and since launching in 2008 it has already invested over $20 million in African startups, reports GhanaWeb.

Over 350 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 30 tech startups have been launched via seed funding and mentorship courtesy of the incubator.

tech startups - africa's largest tech incubator
MEST is the largest tech incubator in Africa Summit. Photo – MEST

The startups selected for the 10th cohort include Sharehouse​, a Kenyan marketplace for on demand storage space, Nvoicia​, a fintech platform for small and medium-sized businesses that enables invoice discounting and will launch simultaneously in Ghana and Nigeria, and Truckr​, a truck and cargo booking and monitoring platform, according to Forbes.

Jumeni​ is a Ghanaian field management and payments collection platform, while Judy​ is an Nigerian artificial intelligence-driven search engine for commonwealth case law.

The final two startups from Ghana include Codeln​, an end-to-end technical recruitment platform, and Bace,​ a Ghanaian client onboarding application for financial institutions that uses facial recognition technology.

Africa’s largest tech incubator with a track record of success

In addition to the flagship incubator in Accra, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology launched two new spaces in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, in November last year, expanding its reach and presence on the African continent, according to ITNewsAfrica.

Entrepreneurs in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote D’ivoire have benefited from the Accra incubator, with the likes of Kudobuzz, meQasa, Tress, ClaimSync and Saya Mobile finding success under the incubator’s watchful eye.

In May the incubator announced the four regional winners of its inaugural MEST Africa Challenge, according to Ventureburn.

The four winners from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa were given the opportunity to pitch their startups at the MEST Africa Summit in Cape Town on Jun. 20, with over 150 investors and top executives from Africa, the U.S. and Europe attending the event.

Nigerian cloud accounting platform, Accounteer, won the MEST Africa Challenge. The startup offers accounting and payroll management software that is specifically developed with the needs of African small and medium businesses in mind.

The incubator received 720 applications from startups in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in April, and 32 finalists were selected to pitch at the regional finals in Accra, Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town.

The Nigerian startup emerged as the winner of the challenge, taking home a $50,000 investment after being selected ahead of regional finalists Cowtribe from Ghana, Kenya’s Data Integrated Limited and swiftVee from South Africa.